Outdoor hiking is an incredible past-time, exercise, and popular way to spend time in nature. What most novice hikers don’t realize is that your run-of-the-mill tennis shoes won’t take you far. Your feet will get a sore, blister, and likely waterlogged as those shoes weren’t built for the rugged terrain. Investing in a pair of the best men’s hiking boots that are designed for this type of activity will allow you to keep your feet happy and your mind focused on the breathtaking views.
Those sights and sounds are beneficial to more than just your physical health. A new study shows the sounds of nature can decrease pain, lower stress, improve mood and enhance cognitive performance. Scientists say the sounds of water boost positive emotions and health outcomes, while bird sounds combat stress.
If you’re a parent, hiking is a great weekend activity for your kids to get some fresh air. It also might tire them out, which means early bedtime and a moment to yourself. Researchers from the University of British Columbia report spending time in nature promotes early childhood development and can help kids reach their expected learning and cognitive developmental milestones. It provides a combination of family time mixed with engaging little brains.
So, break in your boots and reap the benefits. StudyFinds set out to do the research for you, visiting 10 expert websites to put together this list of the best men’s hiking boots. If you’ve got your own suggestions for braving the wilderness, please leave them in the comments below!
The List: Best Men’s Hiking Boots Most Recommended By Experts
1. Salomon X Ultra 4
The consensus number one pick among experts is Salomon’s X Ultra 4. These boots are the top of the mountain (forgive the terrible pun), and you can’t go wrong with them.
These boots earn top marks from REI, “The Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTX scored toward the top of the field in every metric we tested for, including comfort, durability, traction, support, weight, and price.”
Lightweight and sturdy, “The Salomon X Ultra Mid 4 Gore-Tex is one of the lightest hiking boots we have worn. These boots keep the same mid-ankle support that we expect for off-trail travel and excursions with heavy packs while shaving nearly a half-pound from the previous model,” says Outdoor Gear Lab.
Men’s Health had no cons with these boots, “Salomon has made the X Ultra 4 a cut above the rest in its hiking boot offerings. For starters, the boot is under $175, and when you look, take a closer look at the specs of the boot you’ll find out just how much value you’re getting.”
2. Salomon Quest 4 GTX
One after the other – Salomon’s second boot is here in spot two with its comfort and durability. “If you’re in the market for a tough boot for serious day hiking and backpacking, Salomon’s Quest 4 GTX is the whole package,” says Switchback Travel.
Clever Hikers loves these: “The Salomon Quest 4 GTX offer some of the most robust ankle support of any of the boots on our list, making them a great choice for those wanting maximum stability out of their footwear.”
You can’t get a higher remark like Outdoor Gear Lab says, “we consider it to be the epitome of what a hiking boot should be.”
3. Merrell Moab 2
The most reasonably priced boot on the list will still get you all the bang for your buck as you hit the trails. If your feet tend to be wider, look no further. “True to form, the Moab 2’s were one of the roomiest models we tested. If you order a wide width, wide is what you shall receive. And the boots offer good lower ankle support, lots of upper cushioning, a padded tongue, and a solid toe cap to keep you from stubbing your toes,” says Tom’s Guide.
You won’t be alone with these boots: “The Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP’s are classic hiking boots. And for a good reason. They’re excellent and probably one of the most common boots you’ll see on trails,” points out TripSavvy.
According to Forbes, water doesn’t stand a chance, “The combination of suede leather and mesh upper works together with a full M Select Dry membrane to support breathability while sealing out water.”
4. Lowa Renegade
Lowa’s lightweight boot has a long list of contending reasons to purchase. Run Repeat says “after testing it out on the roughest, most challenging terrain, this boot proved itself worthy and even surpassed our expectations! At first glance, this footgear seems heavy, but when we put it on, boy are we surprised. It’s light and it doesn’t drag our feet down.”
“Built with Lowa’s DuraPU Monowrap frame, the Renegade is a stable ride, due in part to the single-piece upper as well as the full-length stabilizer underfoot,” comments Gear Patrol.
An instant hit, “Sturdy, well-built and comfortable, the tried and tested Lowa Renegade is a nubuck leather hiking boot made for multiple miles and mixed terrain – a modern classic,” says Advnture.
5. Keen Targhee II
Rounding off the list are these beautiful and sturdy shoes from Keen. But Backpackers.com says this isn’t a new kid on the block, “The Keen Targhee II Mid is a classic waterproof boot that has been around for years. It features Nubuck leather uppers with a bit of nylon mesh for breathability and has a rugged shape and build.”
It’s the right shoe for the job, “This unique hiking shoe provides just the right amount of protection your feet need from the rocky road but still allows you to feel grounded to the trail,” writes Men’s Health.
You don’t have to worry much with these on, “Foot support and comfort are top priorities in this shoe’s design. There are few trails you should fear when wearing this Keen model,” says Outdoor Gear Lab.